New Book Covers Canadian Heavyweight Title
News / October 2, 2019

Dick Bourne, author of several books on major wrestling championships, has a new title due out this fall: The Canadian Heavyweight Title – The Complete History 1978-1984 In 1978 as the Toronto territory was taking off with the young stars of Mid-Atlantic wrestling, promoter Frank Tunney introduced a local championship. That title, the first true local title in many years, was called the Canadian Heavyweight Title to be defended by the top star in Maple Leaf Wrestling. The title drew from the earlier days of wrestling when the top Canadian wrestler would defend his laurels across the country and occasionally -the world.  From 1978 to 1984 the Canadian title would be defended in Toronto and the circuit towns– and around North America on occasion. During those years locally known as ‘the Mid-Atlantic era’, the area was one of the most exciting and important territories in the wrestling world.  Frank was a long-time member of the NWA and was close to many of the major promoters including Vince McMahon Sr. (WWWF/WWF), Verne Gagne (AWA) and Jim Crockett Jr. (JCP) Those relationships would ensure a steady diet of World champions and champions of different territories defending their titles in Toronto. Our Canadian…

Recent Release Roundup
News / October 1, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Wrestling in the Garden, volume 1: 1875-1939: The Battle for New York – Works, Shoots & Double Crosses by Scott Teal & J Michael Kenyon There has always been something special about attending an event in New York City — sporting events, theater, movies, concerts — and even though wrestling fans in the Northeast loved their local venues, when push came to shove, the one place they’d rather see wrestling than any other was Madison Square Garden. Contrary to popular belief, pro wrestling wasn’t always a big draw in the Garden, even though NYC was the number one media market in the world.  There were decades when wrestling languished in the Garden and promoters lost money, but they continued to book the building because of the reputation that came with it, and since 1875, most of wrestling’s biggest attractions plied their trade in the building(s) at one time or another.  For many years, the Garden was considered to be the wrestling Mecca, and many great moments in wrestling history took place with those walls, including: January 19, 1880 — William Muldoon beat Thiebaud Bauer to become…

Andre The Giant Book Details
News / September 23, 2019

The front cover for The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant is now available: It’s written by Pat Laprade and Bertrand Herbert, who’ve previously worked on a Mad Dog Vachon biography and a history of Montreal wrestling. Laprade was an adviser on the acclaimed HBO documentary on Andre, so this should be a highly reliable account of Andre’s life and times. Full blurb is as follows: Is there a way to find truth in the stuff of legend? You may think you know André the Giant — but who was André Roussimoff? This comprehensive biography addresses the burning questions, outrageous stories, and common misconceptions about his height, his weight, his drawing power as a superstar, and his seemingly unparalleled capacity for food and alcohol. But more importantly, The Eighth Wonder of the World: The True Story of André the Giant transports readers beyond the smoke and mirrors of professional wrestling into the life of a real man. Born in France, André worked on his family’s farm until he was 18, when he moved to Paris to pursue professional wrestling. A truly extraordinary figure, André went on to become an international icon and world traveler, all while…

Recent Release Roundup
News / July 29, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Thanks to Alex Sarti for spotting a couple of these titles. Strong Style by Scott Norton & Adam Randis Strong Style is the autobiography of Scott “Flash” Norton, world arm-wrestling champion and professional wrestler whose career spanned the AWA, WCW, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. His career took him to ice roads in northern Canada, Pay Per View, small rural towns in Japan, the Tokyo Dome, and North Korea. This autobiography provides an honest look back at the many successes in Norton’s career as well as the hardships and personal growth he experienced. Readers will spend a significant period of time with Norton during his career as one of the few Western wrestlers to become the heavyweight champion of a major Japanese promotion and his relationships with the wrestlers and fans on both sides of the Pacific. This book is filled with personal stories, anecdotes, and wrestling “ribs” that will amuse and enlighten wrestling and non-wrestling fans alike. Unladylike: A Grrrl’s Guide to Wrestling by Heather Von Bandenburg Forget what you think you know about wrestling. In the world of Heather Honeybadger, aka Rana Venenosa,…

Recent Release Roundup
News / June 26, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. KB’s History of In Your House by Thomas Hall In the 1990s, the WWF was in a war with WCW to rule the professional wrestling world. WCW began increasing the number of pay per views they produced and the WWF was forced to follow suit. However, they decided to create shorter and lower cost pay per views, giving their fans a break for a change. This book goes through each of the 28 installments of In Your House, breaking down each show match by match and segment by segment, looking at the trends and evolution of both the series and the promotion itself throughout mid 1995 to mid 1999. With detailed analysis of each match and show, it’s as complete a look at the In Your House series as you’ll ever find. Prince’s Poetry Powerslam: A Collection of Eclectic Poems and Stories by an Independent Pro-Wrestler Pro-Wrestling and Poetry? What a Tag Team!Choke holds! Hooked Boots! Waffle Houses! Towns all over the Northeast! What would a 10-year veteran of independent professional wrestling have to say? Find out, and find out why it rhymes. Prince…

Wrestling Arcade Book On The Way
News / May 27, 2019

One of the gems of wrestling Twitter is working on a book. Wrestling Arcade’s Twitter feed features 32-bit pixellated animations of classic wrestling moments from Shockmaster to Barber Shop. It’s the same creative force that produced the opening titles for the Being The Elite YouTube series. The animations are now coming out as a stills book titled Pro Wrestling’s Greatest Moments – A Pixelated Guide. It won’t be out for some time but pre-orders will start on July 1st. You can sign up for a mailing list at https://www.wrestlingarcade.com/.

Coming Soon From Crowbar Press
News / May 14, 2019

Some exciting releases here and on the way from Crowbar Press. The highlight is a new reprint of Fall Guys by Marcus Griffin, a 1930s expose behind the scenes of the pre-war machinations and doublecrosses. While the book is excellent, some of its claims are questionable or exaggerated, with a strong theory that Toots Mondt was a key, but unreliable, source. That’s addressed in this new edition which includes detailed annotations from publisher Scott Teal and historian Steve Yohe, correcting and challenging the content. It’s an approach that worked well with a previous reprint of Lou Thesz’s autobiography Hooker. Meanwhile Pro Wrestling Books reader Jason Presley kindly passed on the “coming attractions” schedule for Crowbar Press. Highlights for 2019 include a series of books on “The Great Wrestling Venues” in both Japan and the US territories. There’s also “Bowdren The Booker”, which was the title of a popular series in the Wrestling Observer newsletter where Bowdren produced an alternative timeline for WCW.

Recent Release Roundup
News / May 10, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. Unscripting Professional Wrestling by Anthony Campana Professional wrestling resonates with millions of people around the world but is also greatly misunderstood by many others. Pro-wrestling has a strong parallel with the worlds of sports and entertainment. However, for every similarity drawn to an avenue of sports or entertainment, there is a key difference between the two. The biggest wrestling company, the WWE, is filled with complex and topical ideas that have highs and lows. From the contentious subjects of steroids, racism, sexism, death, and crime to the revolutionary ideas, unforgettable moments, and long-lasting pop-culture icons; this book not only takes you on the professional wrestling roller-coaster but also sharpens one’s mind in sports entertainment relationships. The Legacy Of The Undertaker by Colin Tavarez Few wrestlers can ever claim to have a long-lasting impact on the wrestling business as a whole, but the Undertaker is certainly one of them. His career has certainly had its highs and lows, but for nearly thirty years, the Undertaker has played a key role in nearly every period in the modern era. From the waning days of the Hulk…

Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia Gets Six-Issue Deal
News / April 30, 2019

Last year I reviewed the initial instalment of a planned graphic novel series Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia. (I’ve copied the recovered text from that review below.) The publishers have now announced the series has been picked up by Starburns Industries Press. There’ll be six monthly issues in digital format, which will then be gathered together as a paperback. Here’s the blurb: INVASION FROM PLANET WRESTLETOPIA Script: Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin (Lumberjack Man) Art: Dan Schkade (The Spirit), Kendall Goode (WWE) Color: Marissa Louise (Hex Wives) Letters: A Larger World (Ninja•K)   Creators Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin bring their cult classic to SBI Press, where the story will be completed for the first time! “Boy Scout” Bob Schultz! Cousin Orville! Mini Macho! Kodiak Jack! Spanish Rose! Don Fong Wong! These are the megastars of 1984’s AWF. “Rock ’n’ Roll” Rory Landell isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves, so one crazy night he ups the game, declaring himself the Galactic Champion of the Universe. But it turns out AWF fans aren’t the only ones listening, and the denizens of planet Wrestletopia aren’t going to take a challenge like that sitting down! Soon the Earth is enclosed in a…

Recent Release Roundup
News / April 9, 2019

The following recent releases did not get advance listings and thus weren’t in our weekly release schedule. To Be The Man: Evil Ain’t Good: Chapter 4 by Jared Davis & Josh Taylor It’s true that nothing makes wrestling great quite like a loud and rowdy crowd, but most nights out at the matches don’t end with a mob of pissed-off hellions jumpin’ the guardrail! Unfortunately for Hazard and Grimes, the Devil’s fanged flunkies are on their tails again, and tonight, they’re lookin’ for a rematch! Can “The Gargoyle” and his skunk-drunk nemesis, “Fabulous” Frank, overcome their boiling hatred for one another AND the heels’ infernal Numbers Game? Or will the Devil’s minions get their hellborn hands on championship gold and take the coveted SCW title belt up North to the soulless Bruce McMaverick? The Boys better be ready for a Rumble in Valdosta, ’cause Eeeeeeeevil is runnin’ wild in Georgia tonight! The Business of Kayfabe: Turning Wrestlers’ Secrets Into a Million Dollars by Sean Oliver Is that thing you love to do in your spare time worth a million bucks? The personalities in pro wrestling have always been some of the most unique and entertaining in the world. For over…